by Ann Hawkshaw
And what art thou?—an ideal of the great;
The personation of a nation's thought;
A giant figure by the ages wrought?
Rather a man for whom time would not wait,
But with rough hand consigned thee to the fate
Of a rude people and untutored age,
To bear the name of wizard, not of sage,
To be a thing of fear, and doubt, and hate.
Yet, wert thou not of nature's worshippers,
And knelt beside her mountain altars—lone
And silent—where the ocean-sounding firs
Bent (like thy soul) upon their rocky throne,
As the storm with its phantom-wings swept by,
Bearing the voices of Eternity?
From Hawkshaw's 1854 work, Sonnets on Anglo-Saxon History. This is a very interesting work; Hawkshaw alternates comments on Anglo-Saxon history, drawing from ancient and modern historians, with sonnets; the sonnets often raise questions, or explore issues, that historians do not, about not only the deeds and happenings but the passions, the hopes, and the dreams of the people who did and endured them.